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Granmer so zardin ti bien zoli, ranpli ar sorgo, mile ek maniok. Me bann banann ti meyer. Mem si granmer ti ena boukou ti-zanfan, ofon mo kone ki mo ti so prefere. Souvan li ti invit mwa so lakaz. Li ti partaz so bann sekre ek mwa. Me ti ena enn zafer ki li ti gard sekre : plas kot li fer banann mir.
Grandma’s garden was wonderful, full of sorghum, millet, and cassava.
But best of all were the bananas.
Although Grandma had many grandchildren, I secretly knew that I was her favourite. She invited me often to her house. She also told me little secrets.
But there was one secret she did not share with me: where she ripened bananas.
Enn zour, monn trouv enn panie lapay dan soley devan lakaz mo granmer. Kan mo’nn demann li ki fer ek sa, li’nn zis dir mwa, « mo panie mazik sa. » Akote panie-la, ti ena enn ta fey banann ki granmer ti pe tourn-tourne de tanzantan. Mo ti telman kirye, mo ti demande, « ki fer avek sa bann fey la ? » Me li zis dir mwa, « se mo bann fey mazik. »
One day I saw a big straw basket placed in the sun outside Grandma’s house. When I asked what it was for, the only answer I got was, “It’s my magic basket.”
Next to the basket, there were several banana leaves that Grandma turned from time to time. I was curious. “What are the leaves for, Grandma?” I asked. The only answer I got was, “They are my magic leaves.”
Ti bien fasinan pou get mo granmer, bann banann, bann fey banann ek gran panie lapay. Me mo granmer avoy mwa al rod enn zafer avek mo mama. « Granmer, silteple, les mwa get seki to pe fer. « Pa fer to teti mo tifi, fer seki mo’nn demann twa. » L’inn insiste. Lerla mo’nn galoupe mo’nn ale.
It was so interesting watching Grandma, the bananas, the banana leaves and the big straw basket. But Grandma sent me off to my mother on an errand.
“Grandma, please, let me watch as you prepare…”
“Don’t be stubborn, child, do as you are told,” she insisted. I took off running.
Kan mo’nn retourne, granmer ti pe asize deor me pa ti ena ni panie ni banann « Granmer, kot panie-la ete, kot bann banann-la et kot bann… » me sel repons li donn mwa, « zot dan mo kasiet mazik. » Mo ti bien desi.
When I returned, Grandma was sitting outside but with neither the basket nor the bananas.
“Grandma, where is the basket, where are all the bananas, and where…”
But the only answer I got was, “They are in my magic place.” It was so disappointing!
De zour apre, granmer avoy mwa al rod so baton dan so lasam Kouma mo’nn ouver laport, monn santi enn loder banann mir. Omilie lasam-la ti ena gran panie mazik mo granmer. Li ti bien kasiet anba enn vie kouvertir. Mo lev li apre mo’nn santi sa bon loder-la.
Two days later, Grandma sent me to fetch her walking stick from her bedroom.
As soon as I opened the door, I was welcomed by the strong smell of ripening bananas. In the inner room was grandma’s big magic straw basket. It was well hidden by an old blanket. I lifted it and sniffed that glorious smell.
Granmer so lavwa inn fer mwa sote kan li’nn apel mwa. « Ki to pe fer ? Degaze amenn mo baton. » Monn degaze sorti avek so kann. « Kifer to pe riye ? » mo granmer demann mwa. Sa kestion-la finn fer mwa realize ki mo ti ankor pe riye akoz mo’nn resi dekouver so landrwa mazik.
Grandma’s voice startled me when she called, “What are you doing? Hurry up and bring me the stick.”
I hurried out with her walking stick. “What are you smiling about?” Grandma asked.
Her question made me realise that I was still smiling at the discovery of her magic place.
Landemin, kan mo granmer inn vinn rann mo mama vizit, mo’nn degaze al kot li pou get bann banann-la ankor. Ti ena enn ta ki ti fini bien mir. Mo’nn pran enn mo’nn kasiet anba mo rob. Kan mo’nn fini rekouver panie-la, mo’nn al deryer lakaz pou manz li vit-vit. Samem banann pli dou ki mo ti manze.
The following day when grandma came to visit my mother, I rushed to her house to check the bananas once more.
There was a bunch of very ripe ones. I picked one and hid it in my dress. After covering the basket again, I went behind the house and quickly ate it. It was the sweetest banana I had ever tasted.
Landemin kan mo granmer ti pe rams legim dan zardin, mo’nn al dan so lasam dousman-dousman pou al get bann banann-la. Tou ti preske mir. Mo pa’nn kapav tini, mo’nn pran kat banann ankor. Mo ti pe mars lor mo pwintl ipie direksion laport, kan mo tann granmer p touse deor. Mo’nn zis gagn letan kasiet bann banann-la anba mo rob avan ki mo pas devan li.
The following day, when grandma was in the garden picking vegetables, I sneaked in and peered at the bananas.
Nearly all were ripe. I couldn’t help taking a bunch of four.
As I tiptoed towards the door, I heard grandma coughing outside. I just managed to hide the bananas under my dress and walked past her.
Landemin ti zour bazar. Granmer ti lev boner. Touletan li pran maniok ek banann mir pou al vande dan bazar. Sa zour-la mo pa’nn degaze pou al rann li vizit. Me mo pa ti pou kapav evit li ankor lontan.
The following day was market day. Grandma woke up early. She always took ripe bananas and cassava to sell at the market.
I did not hurry to visit her that day. But I could not avoid her for long.
Plitar, aswar, mo mama, mo papa ek mo granmer inn apel mwa. Mo ti kone kifer. Sa lanwit-la kan mo’nn al dormi, mo kone ki zame mo ti pou kapav kokin ankor, ni mo granmer, ni mo paran, ni enn lot dimounn.
Later that evening I was called by my mother and father, and Grandma. I knew why.
That night as I lay down to sleep, I knew I could never steal again, not from grandma, not from my parents, and certainly not from anyone else.
Written by: Ursula Nafula
Illustrated by: Catherine Groenewald
Translated by: Shameem Oozeerally & MIE French Students